December issue on sale now

Hi-fi enthusiasts understand the importance of employing a pair of full-range loudspeakers in their listening room to achieve the best stereo soundstage. There’s no better way to bring music to life in a tangible three-dimensional way. When it comes to smart wireless speakers, however, their popularity stems from the simplicity of their single-chassis designs equipped with impressive speaker arrays and utilising multiple high and low-frequency drivers powered by sophisticated DSP technology to give an approximation of an involving soundstage. It’s a neat trick, but one that’s not always entirely convincing.

Although these ‘plonk-anywhere’ wireless cabinets are targeted at those wanting to get into multi-room, I can’t help but think that true music fans are missing out. By not pairing these single-chassis designs together to deliver two-channel sound for even more immersive room-filling sonics, it’s difficult to really bring the performance to life. OK, it might double the outlay you originally had in mind for your setup as most are sold as single units, but the sonic rewards of a bigger soundstage with superior dynamics and presentation of your favourite musicians and albums sound so convincing that it’s undeniably money well spent.

Prices for this month’s Group Test are broadly spread to suit all pockets and whatever your budget, you’ll find a smart wireless speaker pairing that delivers true stereo with hi-fi cred with one of the six models from: Bluesound, Bowers & Wilkins, Devialet, Harman Kardon, KEF and Sonos.

Also inside the December issue:
Rega’s Planar 10 turntable fitted with Apheta 3 cartridge, Spendor’s D7.2 £4,500 floorstanding loudspeaker, Naim’s Supernait 3 integrated amplifier, Acoustic Energy’s AE509 £2,300 floorstanding loudspeaker, MrSpeakers’ Ether 2 planar magnetic over-ear headphone and Sennheiser’s IE 80 S BT wireless in-ear headphone. Also, Insider talks to Spendor owner Philip Swift as the classic loudspeaker brand celebrates its 50th anniversary, Music Legends celebrates the music of the biggest-selling female artist of the seventies Linda Rondstadt and Dealer Visit heads to North London’s Audio Gold.

Lee Dunkley, editor